Over the past two years, you may have seen new signs in cellphone store windows – Cellvault.
Cellvault was developed in response to mall robberies where cellphone stores were increasingly targeted.
In 2015, the year of Cellvault’s patent, there were over 650 robberies targeting retailers, such as cellular and jewellery shops.
Security personnel at the mobile operators told MyBroadband at the time their stores were an attractive target, as smartphones are high-value and portable.
While stolen phones could be blacklisted locally, provided accurate records are kept, that doesn’t prevent thieves from fencing their stolen goods elsewhere in the world.
The idea behind Cellvault is to only expose high-value smartphones when you expect to sell them.
Cellvault is a keyless, locker-like safe where the unlocking of compartments is handled off-site. Individual lockers are opened on a time delay, and are monitored.
The vaults are manufactured in South Africa and go through extensive testing before they are installed.
“We are constantly making improvements and changes to the machine to stay one step ahead,” a Cellvault spokesperson told MyBroadband.
“Video surveillance on the machines is linked to offsite surveillance sites, operated through the best independent surveillance companies in South Africa.”
The price of a Cellvault unit depends on the size of the machine, the order volume, and if extras like asset tracking and smoke solutions are included.
Samsung South Africa aided in the development of Cellvault, and said it felt a moral obligation to help its partners deal with the scourge of store robberies.
“Cellvault gave us the opportunity to provide a solution to protect frontline retail staff as well as partners from risk exposure. This was a national campaign which we were able to roll out in partnership with our network operators,” said Samsung.
“While this may sound utopian, it was really to assist the industry and our partners – to enable us to give back.”
The company said it would not be where it is today were it not for its partners.
“Cellvault has delivered on every one of their promises, which has helped us to deliver on ours,” said Samsung.
Samsung and Cellvault told MyBroadband that the lockers have been extremely successful in preventing robberies.
“To date, Cellvault has prevented or minimised loss in over 90 incidents, including daytime robberies and burglaries.”
“There have also been numerous incidents when the robbers have left a store after seeing the Cellvault signage.”
Thanks to the success of the product, a decrease in insurance premiums for stores which use the technology has also been seen.
“Any store that has the Cellvault solution in place will receive a substantial decrease in insurance, both in terms of premiums as well as excess. Some stores have decreased their insurance by over 70%.”
Cellvault said that following its success in South Africa, it showcased its product at the International Security Expo in Las Vegas.
“The response for the product was phenomenal and Cellvault is currently looking to expand into other regions and verticals.”